Monday, January 2, 2017

South Carolina man goes home after 3 surgeries from dog attack

SOUTH CAROLINA -- The family of Buddy Owens is calling it a Christmas miracle -- a few days early.

Owens, the 71-year-old Vietnam veteran attacked by two pit bulls Dec. 11 while decorating his yard with Christmas lights, came home from the hospital Tuesday after three surgeries.

He came home as officials in York are working on a possible new law against dangerous dog breeds that might stop future attacks.

Owens, whose left arm was described by police as “mangled” in the attack, is concentrating on recovering after almost 10 days in the hospital and was not able to be interviewed. But did give this statement through his granddaughter:

“I'm excited to be home in time for Christmas and plan to celebrate it with those that I love,” Owens wrote. “This was a terrible attack and one that I’m continuing to recover from.”

Owen’s Christmas display at his Oklahoma Street home has been a favorite in York for more than a decade. He credited York police, emergency workers and hospital staff with his being able to be recover enough to get home for Christmas.

“I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community, the quick response from first responders, the professionalism of the York Police Department and wonderful care from Carolinas Medical Center,” Owens wrote. “Mostly though, I’m grateful for the Christmas season. God is good and has been very good to me.”


The proposed new law was reported exclusively by and The Herald and has prompted dozens of responses -- both for and against -- to city officials.

York police had to shoot one of the dogs that attacked Owens and both pit bull-boxer mix dogs were seized by animal control. The owners were cited for leash law violations.

City officials who said the attack on Owens could have been fatal want tougher laws against dangerous dogs. The South Carolina municipalities of Cheraw, Dillon and Beaufort have enacted similar laws against dangerous dogs, York Mayor Eddie Lee said.

York City Council will consider a proposed dangerous dog law at its Jan. 3 meeting.

“These kind of laws have worked in other places and we will discuss it to see if we can make it work here,” Lee said Tuesday. “The City of York is happy and proud to have Buddy Owens home for Christmas.”

Want to help? A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help Buddy Owens with mounting medical bills from a dog attack Dec. 11. To help visit

(The State - Dec 21, 2016)